Unchained Key

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With 'Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory' out for about a week now, Dengeki got a chance to chat with series director, Tetsuya Nomura, regarding this new entry and what to expect with the series moving forward. Check out the interview below (translated by @RyujiBlades of KH13.com), though beware of minor spoilers related to 'Melody of Memory' if you haven't finished the game yet:

Both the game and the official soundtrack came out within the same time frame. Please tell us what kind of request you made to Indieszero (known for developing the Theatrhythm series) when developing Memory of Melody.

Nomura: Their proposal, in a few words, can be described as "Theatrhythm: KINGDOM HEARTS edition". However, I didn't want it to make it a carbon copy of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, and slap the Kingdom Hearts moniker on top of it.

So you wanted it to be similar, yet completely different to Theatrhythm?

Nomura: Correct. I asked Indieszero to combine the action of Kingdom Hearts with the rhythm genre. As you can imagine, it took a lot of trial-and-error, and lots of testing, because it is complicated to put those two pieces together nicely. We also wanted to make the game not look too flashy, so that people wouldn't feel sick when playing the game.

I see. There are Keyblade strikes and magic, so you can really feel you're actually playing KH.

Nomura: It makes me glad that you're saying that. After all, that was the main objective of this project.

Kairi will play a specially important role as this game's "storyteller". Could you elaborate more on that?

Nomura: In the game's story, Kairi will recap the entire story of the Kingdom Hearts series so far, in a way that even newer players can easily digest. However, it is impossible to get into the most intricate details, so if you're curious about a certain part of the story, I strongly recommend you play that game and enjoy the story for yourself in its fullest.

The game contains a total of 140 songs. Were any songs personally suggested by you, Nomura-san?

Nomura: None in particular. I guess my initial request was to include as many songs as possible, as I did not want to implement more in a DLC package.

Next, let's talk about a future outlook for the series. With KHIII, a saga [The Seekers of Darkness' saga] ended. But there's still a lot of mystery surrounding the characters, correct?

Nomura: Of course. In the near future, I plan to change the story drastically, as in, change the structure on how it's told in a way that it can grab all the pending mysteries. The objective here is to try out a brand new story while still integrating the plots and mysteries that are currently pending.

In KH UX Dark Road, you delve into the past of Xehanort. So does this mean we'll see more of him in future series?

Nomura: To be fair, Dark Road wasn't a project that took future titles into consideration. It was more of a project the KHUX team was thinking of doing that's been in the backburner for a bit. Xehanort's saga ends with KH III but you can clearly see in Melody of Memory's story that his influence does shift the atmosphere, even if just a bit. However, I don't think Xehanort will become a main antagonist/main boss in future titles.

One of the main perks of Kingdom Hearts is how it always sets the atmosphere for a continuation. Is that something you commonly think of when developing the game? Example: When developing Kingdom Hearts I, did you anticipate the existence of Sora's nobody—Roxas?

Nomura: Whenever I think of a story, I try to make it as extensive as possible. For example, when developing Kingdom Hearts I, I was thinking of its sequel, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. However, not everything I thought came to fruition. One such case is KH Dark Road, where I haven't really thought much about it.

The Kingdom Hearts series started on the PlayStation 2 system. However, there were no new releases to the PS3 or the PSVITA (instead, what happened is that remasters of KH1 and 2, dubbed KH1.5 and KH2.5 were released). Why wasn't there such a jump to new hardware?

Nomura: I had some foggy ideas to release new titles on the PS3 and the PSVITA. Especially since…the PSVITA, for a portable console, packed quite the beefy hardware, and could stand up to the task. However, those plans never fully materialized, mostly because at the time, I was involved in FF Versus XIII's development.

Is the new KH game going to take advantage of the powerful technologies boasted by the new PlayStation 5 and XBOX Series X/S?

Nomura: We can't say we have plans to do so as of now, but if Kingdom Hearts were to come to these new generation consoles, it would most certainly be a latecomer [basically, the game isn't likely to come out in the 1st year of the consoles' release]

One of the most talked about topics in Kingdom Hearts is its music. Particularly, the songs composed by Yoko Shimomura. Why did you decide that she would be perfect for the job?

Nomura: I got a recommendation from the music department at Square. At the time, I had worked with her on Parasite Eve [PlayStation 1 game released in 1998 by Squaresoft. It was an unique kind of RPG, known as a cinematic RPG.], so it was fairly easy to approach her, since we were already acquainted by then.

Her songs are popular both in Japan and overseas.

Nomura: To be fair, I was pretty surprised. When the overseas fans called her "Goddess" and how they called me "Papa", I was honestly quite surprised such nicknames existed for us.

What was your first request to Shimomura-san?

Nomura: It was when I wanted to make a battle arrangement for all world songs. As you know, each KH world has a field song and a battle song. I wanted it to feel like you were in a theme park.

What do you think of her songs, from your point of view?

Nomura: Hmm…they sound they carry a lot of emotions…? They sound like drama…? [TL NOTE: The tenses in the original Japanese show that he's completely unsure.]

Aside from Shimomura-san, we also have other well-established composers for the KH series, such as Takeharu Ishimoto and Tsuyoshi Sekito.

Nomura: I believe it was during KH: Birth of Sleep's development process that we asked them to compose. Ishimoto is involved with the Dissidia series, as well as The World Ends with You. He's great in creating cool-looking songs. As for Sekito…his forte is creating bright and cheerful songs. He also has a close relation to the development team in Osaka, so it's very easy to request bright and cheery songs for things such as the UI [example: World Map] or mini-games.

Finally, please give a comment to everyone to wrap up the interview.

Nomura: We are proud that we managed to release Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory and the KHIII soundtrack. Both me and the team hope that all players enjoy it fully. After the release of MoM, the series will probably take a little break (no announcements and/or new things) until 2022. 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of KH, so I plan to share some great news by then.
After nearly two years since its release, 'Kingdom Hearts III' finally has an official soundtrack that fans can purchase and listen to! The soundtrack can be purchased/streamed from the following locations:
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The official 'Kingdom Hearts III' Japanese website was updated today, revealing the entire tracklist for the soundtrack, finally providing us official names for tracks we've heard not only from 'Kingdom Hearts III', but also in 2.8 HD Final Chapter Prologue as well as in Unchained X[chi]! Check out the tracklist below:

  • 1 誓い -KINGDOM Orchestra Instrumental Version-
  • 2 Face My Fears -KINGDOM Orchestra Instrumental Version-
  • 3 Dearly Beloved -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 4 Face My Fears (Japanese Version)
  • 5 Dive into the Heart -Destati- Third Inception
  • 6 Burning Ambition
  • 7 Return of the Titans
  • 8 Mount Olympus
  • 9 Hero's Fanfare
  • 10 The Deep End -Rock Titan's Rage-
  • 11 Olympus Coliseum -The Shining Summit-
  • 12 Go for It! -Into the Clouds-
  • 13 Titanic Clash
  • 14 Sky of Wonder
  • 15 First Flight
  • 16 Engage!
  • 17 Heart of Mystery
  • 18 The Afternoon Streets -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 19 Working Together -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 20 Pixel Hero
  • 21 The Little Chef
  • 1 Dearly Beloved -Forest Memory-
  • 2 VERUM REX
  • 3 君はともだち -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 4 Toy Box Jam
  • 5 Shrouding Dark Cloud -Gigas Blast-
  • 6 It's a New Record!
  • 7 The Corrupted -Monstrous Monsters-
  • 8 Sora -Orchestra of Toads-
  • 9 Tension Rising -Angelic Amber-
  • 10 Friendship's Union
  • 11 Skyward Striker
  • 12 Happy Hair Day
  • 13 Swingin' Free
  • 14 Happy Hair Day -Into the Forest Deep-
  • 15 Swingin' Free -Into the Forest Deep-
  • 16 Maximus's Matchup
  • 17 Rowdy Rumble -The Crazy Carriage-
  • 18 Say Cheese!
  • 19 Sunshine Dancer
  • 20 Lanterns in the Sky
  • 21 Tension Rising -Reaper's Revenge-
  • 22 The Lost Princess
  • 23 The Falling
  • 24 Anger Unchained
  • 25 Teardrop of the Sun
  • 1 Shipmeisters' Shanty -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 2 Blast Off! -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 3 Star Explorer
  • 4 Lock, Load, and Blast!
  • 5 Crossing the Finish Line -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 6 Monstropolis Now
  • 7 Monster Smash!
  • 8 Zero Hour -The Chase-
  • 9 Monstropolis Now -Code 72-16-
  • 10 Monster Smash! -Code 72-16-
  • 11 Unforgettable -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 12 Dual Hearts
  • 13 くまのプーさん -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 14 Bounce-O-Rama -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 15 Little Lovely Moments
  • 16 Go! Go! Rumble Racer -Pudding Grand Prix-
  • 17 Flantastic Fight
  • 18 Hand in Hand -Attraction Flow Version-
  • 19 Dream Eaters -Attraction Flow Version-
  • 20 8Bit Smasher -Attraction Flow Version-
  • 21 Savannah Pride -Attraction Flow Version-
  • 22 An Adventure in Atlantica -Attraction Flow Version-
  • 23 Mákaukau? -Attraction Flow Version-
1 Frozen Wonderland
2 Miracle on Ice
3 Frozen Wonderland -Eternal Winter-
4 Miracle on Ice -Eternal Winter-
5 レット・イット・ゴー 〜ありのままで〜
6 Sky High Slider
7 The Coolest Contest
8 Frozen Heart
9 No Surrender!
10 True Love
11 A Pirate's Adventure
12 Flags of Fury
13 A Pirate's Freedom
14 Winds of Fate
15 Flags of Fury -Leviathan Awakened-
16 Hearts of Courage
17 Eye of the Storm
18 The Victorious
  • 1 The Encounter -Metal Charge-
  • 2 AR -Augmented Rhythm-
  • 3 Robot Overdrive
  • 4 Heroes' Gathering
  • 5 Flash Tracer
  • 6 Hero Upgrade
  • 7 Data Trace Complete
  • 8 Zero Hour -The Rescue-
  • 9 Baymax Rebooted
  • 10 Aqua -Dark Dive-
  • 11 Enter the Darkness -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 12 Guardians of Light
  • 13 The Star Fortress
  • 14 THERMOSPHERE -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 15 Stranded Beyond
  • 16 Dive into the Heart -Destati- Third Revival
  • 17 Graveyard Labyrinth
  • 18 Rise of the Union
  • 19 Forze Del Male -Dark Riku-
  • 1 Organization XIII -Mark of Fate-
  • 2 Dawn of Hope
  • 3 Chains to Bonds
  • 4 Roxas's Return
  • 5 Hearts as One
  • 6 Forza Finale
  • 7 Scala ad Caelum
  • 8 Edge of Existence
  • 9 Replicas
  • 10 Critical Crossroad
  • 11 True Darkness
  • 12 Dark Domination
  • 13 光 -KINGDOM Tres Orchestra Instrumental Version-
  • 14 誓い
  • 15 Rhapsody in Tres for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra
  • 16 Epilogue
  • 17 Secrets of the Night
  • 1 Cavern of Remembrance -KINGDOM HEARTS III Version-
  • 2 L'Oscurità dell'Ignoto -Young Xehanort-
  • 3 L'Eminenza Oscura I -Ansem-
  • 4 L'Oscurità dell'Ignoto -Xemnas-
  • 5 The 13th Dilemma -Xigbar-
  • 6 The 13th Dilemma -Saïx-
  • 7 The 13th Struggle -Luxord-
  • 8 Lord of the Castle -Marluxia-
  • 9 The 13th Struggle -Larxene-
  • 10 Dismiss -Terra-Xehanort-
  • 11 Vector to the Heavens -Xion-
  • 12 Forze dell'Oscurita -Xehanort-
  • 13 Key of the Brave
  • 14 Link to All -Lights of Destiny-
  • 1 Dearly Beloved -Unchained χ Version-
  • 2 Before The Daylight
  • 3 Wake Up, World!
  • 4 Mission Complete!
  • 5 Dearly Beloved -Union χ Version-
  • 6 Hand in Hand -Union χ Version-
  • 7 Game Central Station
  • 8 The Candy-Filled Kingdom
  • 9 The Fastest Racer
  • 10 A Nameless Planet
  • 11 Hero's Duty Troopers
  • 12 Welcome to Niceland
  • 13 I'm Gonna Wreck It!
  • 14 Dearly Beloved -χ Back Cover Version-
  • 15 Passing the Power
  • 16 The Foretellers
  • 17 Master of Masters
  • 18 光 -Ray Of Hope MIX-
  • 19 The World Within
  • 20 Forest of Thorns
  • 21 Aqua -Mirror Illusion-
  • 22 Wave of Darkness I
  • 23 Wave of Darkness II
The official Square-Enix Music Twitter account surprised fans today with some details on the much requested original soundtrack of 'Kingdom Hearts III' that was announced about a month ago that should get people excited:
First off, the soundtrack has been confirmed to be released in a few months on November 11 (with the digital version of the soundtrack releasing worldwide on the same date)! Also, the soundtrack will consist of 8 discs, and will contain over 90 songs not just from 'Kingdom Hearts III', but also music from the Re:MIND DLC, as well as additional tracks from HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Unchained X, and Union X[cross] that never got an official release! There will also be a campaign in mid-September where fans can enter a lottery to win autographs from the composers who have contributed to the music of the series (Yoko Shimomura, Takeharu Ishimoto & Tsuyoshi Sekito). The soundtrack can be pre-ordered from the following locations at this time:
In a surprising announcement, Square-Enix has provided Kingdom Hearts fans with a new trailer today, revealing a few surprises in store for us coming this year:



Union X[cross] and Dark Road
First off, the trailer shows what to expect with upcoming new story quests in 'Kingdom Hearts: Union X[cross]'. After that, the trailer gives us our first real look at the other mobile game, 'Kingdom Hearts: Dark Road', giving us an additional look at the game's characters, and the gameplay in action. Lastly, the trailer confirms the game will be released less than a week from now on June 22nd!

Kingdom Hearts III Original Soundtrack
Ever since the game first released a year and a half ago, fans have been demanding an official soundtrack for 'Kingdom Hearts III' to be made available. Now, it appears that the folks over at Square-Enix and Disney have granted the wishes of fans, with the trailer confirming that an official soundtrack of the game will be releasing in Fall 2020!

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
The final announcement from today's trailer came in the form of a reveal, confirming that a rhythm action game (sort of similar to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy), named 'Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory', will be releasing in 2020 for the PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch (marking the first time a Kingdom Hearts game was released on that console)! What's more is that the game seems to also have a playable scenario that takes place after the events of KH3: ReMind, allowing players to play as Kairi!

While these announcements were terrific, eagle eyed viewers will have noticed that the beginning of the trailer reveals that the series is now in its "2nd Phase", which seems to have started with KH3: ReMind, and includes Dark Road and Melody of Memory. But what's interesting is that the series' 2nd Phase contains five slots, three that are occupied by ReMind, Dark Road, and Melody of Memory, while the other two slots may hint at two currently unannouced projects!

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EDIT:

English version of the trailer has released: